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Unknown: A Novel por Didier Van Cauwelaert
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Unknown: A Novel (original 2003; edição 2011)

por Didier Van Cauwelaert (Autor), Mark Polizzotti (Tradutor)

MembrosCríticasPopularidadeAvaliação médiaMenções
1537134,965 (3.03)3
Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn't know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he's a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person - family, colleague, or doctor - can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin's memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself. Is it a conspiracy? Amnesia? Is Martin the victim of an elaborate hoax, or of his own paranoid delusion? author of One-Way, explores the illusory nature of identity and the instability of the things we take for granted. Dispossessed of his job, his family, his name, and his very past, Martin Harris is an Everyman caught in an absurd and yet disturbingly convincing nightmare, one that seems to have no exit and that resists every explanation. Part moral fable, part Robert Ludlum-style thriller, Out of My Head is a fast-paced tale of one man's desperate attempt to reclaim his existence-even at the cost of his own life.… (mais)
Membro:Grant_McLeester
Título:Unknown: A Novel
Autores:Didier Van Cauwelaert (Autor)
Outros autores:Mark Polizzotti (Tradutor)
Informação:Penguin Books (2011), 164 pages
Colecções:A sua biblioteca
Avaliação:
Etiquetas:Nenhum(a)

Pormenores da obra

Hors de moi por Didier van Cauwelaert (Author) (2003)

  1. 00
    Night Film por Marisha Pessl (beyondthefourthwall)
    beyondthefourthwall: Tense, twisty psychological thrillers. Just who is pulling the strings here, and why?
  2. 00
    Beautiful Image por Marcel Aymé (bluepiano)
    bluepiano: A man's appearance is suddenly altered and he is unrecognised by those who know him. He, unlike the protagonist of Unknown, decides to live his life as this stranger.
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Mostrando 1-5 de 7 (seguinte | mostrar todos)
I think this was also a movie or a premise for a movie with Liam Neeson(?) - Martin Harris wakes from a coma after being in a traffic accident. He and his wife just recently relocated to Paris; the cabbie who was involved in the crash with him, is there when he awakes and takes him to his apartment where he encounters "Martin Harris" - but who is this man with his wife, why doesn't his wife recognize him and how can he prove who he is when the other "Martin Harris" is accusing him of impersonation. This book is one man's journey for the truth - did his near death accident transform his memory of another person. Interesting, but, for some reason, I just didn't feel like they tied up all the loose ends at the end and still had me wondering about important aspects. Ok ( )
  booklovers2 | Mar 13, 2015 |

(Really this should be 3.5 stars.)

Botanist Martin Harris and his wife Liz arrive in Paris. As they're on their way to the apartment loaned to them by unorthodox botanical theorist Paul de Kermeur, Martin realizes he left his laptop at the airport; he hails a passing cab, driven by middle-aged divorcee Muriel. But the journey's cut short when a stolen lorry forces the cab off a bridge and into the Seine. Muriel saves Martin's life but he's in a coma for a few days. When he recovers he finds that Liz doesn't recognize him and that another "Martin Harris" has taken his place -- worse still, that the impostor is so well trained and convincing that Martin himself would believe him the real one if he didn't know better. Martin, Muriel and a genial old psychologist set out to establish the truth of what's going on.

The book was filmed moderately well as Unknown (2011), although with a number of changes, some justifiable, some needless, and one -- the replacement of the dowdy Muriel as cabdriver by a gorgeous babe -- downright annoying.

What's not to like about the book? There's rather too much daft pseudoscience, mainly concerning plant telepathy; even though it's possible in hindsight to reckon this could well be a deliberate part of the setup, at the time one's reading it it has the effect of distancing at least this reader from Martin's plight. Other than that I have few complaints. The opening premise seems to owe more than a little to that of The Man without a Name (1977) by Martin Russell (another Martin!), which I reviewed a while ago (http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/151812283), although the explanation is somewhat different. This is, however, despite some lurches in the translation, by far the better written of the two; indeed, it reads like a rocket -- the fact that it's a pretty short novel (more like a long novella) is only one of the reasons why you're like to read it in a sitting. The prose is really quite terse, and van Cauwelaert has the happy knack of being able to create a sense of place and situation with, often, the briefest of description. All in all, this succeeds admirably in what it sets out to do, as both a psychological thriller and, to an extent, an exploration of what we mean by identity.
( )
  JohnGrant1 | Aug 11, 2013 |
Cuando Martin regresa después dee tres días su mjer no lo reconoce y un hombre que afirma llamarse como él ha usurpado su identdad. ( )
  pedrolopez | May 10, 2013 |
Martin Harris arrives in Paris and, in the rush to return to the airport to collect his forgotten laptop, grabs a cab. Unfortunately, the cab is involved in an accident with a truck and Martin ends up in a coma for three days. When he wakes up, no one recognizes him - not his wife, not his neighbors, not the doorman... he has become unknown. Martin sets about to prove his identity and reclaim his wife, his life and his career.

Van Cauweleart has created, for the most part, a great psychological thriller from the first person point of view. The listener is privy to the thoughts of Martin - his bewilderment, stubbornness, frustrations and doubts - as he careens through Paris with the help and support of a female cab driver in his efforts not only to gather evidence as to who is is; but to discredit the man who is claiming to be him! Successive sections of the story are built with tantalizing clues and intriguing possible explanations - all embedded in the scenes' details and dialogues. This is not story driven by action/adventure as much as it is upon the subtle terrors and perceptions of the mind. But what exactly is going on? Not only does Martin not know, but the listener doesn't either. There is no sense of imminent danger, only a case of what may be identity theft and a vague conspiracy; or maybe it's just a matter of guilt and paranoia. Out of My Head has confused bafflement with suspense and, unfortunately, the author seems to have exhausted his burgeoning talent for creating a psychological thriller and instead opted for a cheap ending.

Bronson Pinchot, who can be seen on DIY network's The Bronson Pinchot Project, is the American narrator for Out of My Head. He perfectly inhabits the character of Martin and of special note is the argument between Martin and... Martin! Martin, and the-man-claiming-to-be-Martin have a showdown of memories, each trying to prove that he is the true Martin. The dialogue is fast and, as the recountings escalate in tenor the longer the confrontation draws out, one can hear the frustrations and smugness of each of the men as they stake their claims. It is an absurd conversation that could never actually happen; but Bronson Pinchot makes it sound natural.

Redacted from the original blog review at dog eared copy, Out of My Head; 04/17/2012 ( )
1 vote Tanya-dogearedcopy | Apr 4, 2013 |
" J'ai tout perdu, sauf la mémoire.
Il m'a volé ma femme, mon travail et mon nom. Je suis le seul à savoir qu'il n'est pas moi : j'en suis la preuve vivante. Mais pour combien de temps ? Et qui va me croire ? "
  vdb | Jan 20, 2012 |
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Martin Harris returns home after a short absence to find that his wife doesn't know him, another man is living in his house under his name, and the neighbors think he's a raving lunatic. Worse, not a single person - family, colleague, or doctor - can vouch for him. Worse still, the impostor shares all of Martin's memories, experiences, and knowledge, down to the last detail. He is, in fact, a more convincing Martin than Martin himself. Is it a conspiracy? Amnesia? Is Martin the victim of an elaborate hoax, or of his own paranoid delusion? author of One-Way, explores the illusory nature of identity and the instability of the things we take for granted. Dispossessed of his job, his family, his name, and his very past, Martin Harris is an Everyman caught in an absurd and yet disturbingly convincing nightmare, one that seems to have no exit and that resists every explanation. Part moral fable, part Robert Ludlum-style thriller, Out of My Head is a fast-paced tale of one man's desperate attempt to reclaim his existence-even at the cost of his own life.

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